Pictured with just some of the trophies won on the festival circuit by The Palace Players are, front l-r: Robert Condon, Michelle Hurley, Sean Ahern, Brendan Dunlea, Liam Howard, Maureen Howard and Mollie Abernethy. Back: Danny Buckley, Noel Howard, Tomas Quirke, Jim Baylor and Seamus Ahern. Missing from the picture taken in Cotter's Bar are Margaret Sheedy, Dave Roche and Aisling McGrath.

The draw for the confined and open drama competitions at All-Ireland level will be held this weekend – Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10 respectively.

Local groups – The Palace Players and Take 5 – anxiously await the outcome to ascertain which nights they will be drawn to perform. Cork county will have 2 groups in both finals, the others being Kilmeen ‘Run For Your Wife’ (open) and Skibbereen ‘The Quiet Moment’ (confined).

Take 5 will have a long trip to Castleblaney, Co Monaghan with their presentation of ‘Children Of A Lesser God’ while the Palace Players return to The Dean Crowe Theatre in Athlone, this time with ‘The Gigli Concert’ as they bid to retain their All-Ireland title.

The nine groups to contest the open competition in Athlone are as follows (best 3 results count): Bridge Drama ‘Lost In Yonkers’ (7 wins); Dalkey Drama Group ‘Jane Eyre’ (5 wins); Palace Players ‘The Gigli Concert’ (5 wins); Ballyshannon DS ‘Old Times’ (3 wins); Prosperous DS ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ (3 wins); Dundalk ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ (3 wins); Kilmeen DG ‘Run For Your Wife’ (2 wins, 1 2nd); Ennis ‘The Loves Of Cass Maguire’ (2 wins, 1 2nd) and Bunclody/Kilmyshall ‘Moonshine’ (2 wins, 1 3rd).


In the confined section, there is still room for an upset with the Rathdangan festival still to be decided. Should Shannonside DG with ‘The Kings Of The Kilburn High Road’ happen to win Rathdangan this Friday night, they would take 9th spot at the expense of DADS Dunmore.

Watch this space!